The Kavanaugh confirmation process has been a missed opportunity for the United States to face up to many urgent issues on which the bi-partisans in Washington, DC are united and wrong. Kavanaugh's career as a Republican legal operative and judge supporting the power of corporations, the security state and abusive foreign policy should have been put on trial. The hearings could have provided an opportunity to confront the security state, use of torture, mass spying and the domination of money in politics and oligarchy as he has had an important role in each of these.
I’ve always believed the web is for everyone. That’s why I and others fight fiercely to protect it. The changes we’ve managed to bring have created a better and more connected world. But for all the good we’ve achieved, the web has evolved into an engine of inequity and division; swayed by powerful forces who use it for their own agendas. Today, I believe we’ve reached a critical tipping point, and that powerful change for the better is possible — and necessary. This is why I have, over recent years, been working with a few people at MIT and elsewhere to develop Solid, an open-source project to restore the power and agency of individuals on the web.
Phoenix, AZ (Sept. 27, 2018) - A federal court today blocked an Arizona law that requires state contractors to certify that they will not boycott Israel, finding that the law likely violates state contractors’ free speech rights under the First Amendment. “A restriction of one’s ability to participate in collective calls to oppose Israel unquestionably burdens the protected expression of companies wishing to engage in such a boycott,” U.S. District Court Judge Diane J. Humetewa wrote in today’s order blocking the law.
Washington - New data released Wednesday by the Department of Veterans Affairs has shown that the suicide rate among young military veterans continues to climb, despite a decline in the overall suicide rate among U.S. military veterans, amid department efforts to combat the problem. The new data was made available in the VA’s National Suicide Data Report, which found that, in 2016, 6,079 veterans ended their own lives compared to 6,281 in 2015. However, the suicide rate for veterans between the ages of 18 and 34 increased from 40.4 deaths per 100,000 veterans in 2015 to 45 in 2016, four times higher than that of other age groups.
Black activist groups marched on the National Mall and Justice Department in Washington, D.C. on Saturday to raise awareness about the injustices black women face. The march’s goal was to “denounce the propagation of state-violence and the widespread incarceration of Black women and girls, rape and all sexualized violence, the murders and brutalization of transwomen and the disappearances of our girls from our streets, our schools and our homes,” according to a statement.
The United States ranks 27th in the world for its investments in education and health care as measurements of its commitment to economic growth, according to the first-ever scientific study ranking countries for their levels of human capital. Our findings show the association between investments in education and health and improved human capital and GDP – which policymakers here in the US ignore at their own peril. As the world economy grows increasingly dependent on digital technology, from agriculture to manufacturing to the service industry, human capital grows increasingly important.
After six weeks of traveling across the United States, the TPS Journey 4 Justice bus arrived in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Sept. 25. The bus carried more than 50 immigrants with Temporary Protected Status (TPS), their family members, and other civil rights leaders who are crossing the country over 12 weeks to mobilize communities to protect the life-saving immigration program. TPS allows foreign nationals to remain in the U.S. if war, natural disaster, or some other catastrophe in their country of origin prevents their safe return. Most TPS holders have lived in the U.S. for years, often decades, and have become vital parts of our communities.
Palestine filed a complaint against the United States with the United Nations top court over Washington's decision to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. In a statement issued on Friday, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) said Palestine contends the embassy's relocation is in breach of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. In its application, Palestine argued that the treaty dictates embassies must be established on the territory of the receiving state and that the "special status of Jerusalem" means that the US violated its international obligations when it moved its embassy.
Far from being unusual, the hurried and partisan Supreme Court confirmation process for Brett Kavanaugh mirrors several notable examples of similarly politicized confirmations in U.S. history. Those conflicts, which ultimately placed justices on the court, yielded some of the most damaging civil rights decisions in our nation’s history. Unlike any other branch of government, Supreme Court justices do not have to face voters at the polls. They have no term limits. Yet the high court is the final arbiter of constitutional rights and protections.
In late August, the People’s Policy Project, a left-wing think tank run by economist and writer Matt Bruenig, released a proposal for the creation of a social wealth fund in the United States. Dubbed the American Solidarity Fund, the idea behind the proposal is to establish a pool of shared, public wealth that would be invested in the same way that private wealth is. Under this plan, every American adult would own a single “share” of the fund, and while no single person would be able to withdraw their share, they would receive regular universal dividend payments from returns on investments.
Thousands of pro-independence people took to the streets of Barcelona on Saturday to oppose a march by Spanish police unions that wanted to honor officers that took part in last year's referendum crackdown. According to official figures from Barcelona's local police, 6.000 pro-independence protesters took to the streets of Barcelona, while 3,000 Spanish police officers and supporters participated in their own demonstration.
This past week Donald Trump appeared before the United Nations Assembly in New York. In typical Trump style, he immediately launched into bragging about his accomplishments. Like most of his recent public appearances, it was a campaign speech directed to his political base. He proclaimed to the Assembly he had achieved more in his first two years than had any other president in a like period. The claim elicited laughs from the audience, which Trump would brush off later in a press conference saying ‘We were laughing together, they weren’t laughing at me”. Sure, Donald. That’s what happened! In the course of his over-the-top, self-congratulatory announcement he said the US economy had grown faster in his first two years at the presidential helm than in any administration before during a like period...
Fifteen districts started the school year on strike in Washington state—the latest to ride the West Virginia wave. “For my whole life I thought this was just the way it was, that I would have to struggle to have a sustainable life,” said Anna Cockrum, a teacher in Evergreen, out on her first picket line. “I teach students to stand up for themselves, and it is so cool to be living that.” Evergreen teachers walked for almost two weeks before agreeing to raises averaging 11.5 percent, considerably more than the district’s initial 1.9 percent offer. Battle Ground and Tumwater were the last to settle, after more than two weeks out. Educators were demanding salary increases in line with the implementation of the state Supreme Court’s McCleary decision.
There are, as far as I know, no polls on the percentage of people in the United States who know that the war is still going on, but it seems to be pretty low. Polling Report lists no polls at all on Afghanistan in the past three years. For longer than most wars have lasted in total, this one has gone on with no public discussion of whether or not it should, just annual testimony before Congress that this next year is going to really be the charm. Things people don’t know are happening are not polled about, which contributes to nobody knowing they are happening. Possible reasons for such ignorance include: there have been too many wars spawned by this one to keep track of them all; President Obama claimed to have “ended” the war while explicitly and actually not ending it, and pointing this out could be impolite...
Liberal Democrats are out to get Brett Kavanaugh. They are right to be; he is dangerous. Confirming Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court would lock in a right-wing majority for a generation. Abortion rights would be imperiled, true, but his rulings would also impact us in countless ways no one can predict: privacy, technology, balance of powers, corporate influence. What’s weird is how the “Resistance” is going after the nominee: they’re #MeToo-ing him. They’re only #MeToo-ing him. One woman says he tried to rape her when she was 15 and he was 17. Another says that he pulled out his penis and shoved it in her face at a college party. U-S-A! Best country ever! At this writing a third accuser waits in the wings. If true these are—obviously, undeniably, absolutely—nasty acts.